It took me almost 3 months and countless rewrites, but I finally finished this impressions review of Lineage 2. I don’t usually write specific game reviews, so this was hard for me to do. I think it came out rather well, and I gladly posted it over at Grimwell Online.
Lineage II (L2) has been in retail now for 3 full months, and the highly anticipated release of the Chronicle 1 (C1) patch was finally released on June 28th. I’ve been playing L2 since very shortly before the end of closed beta and these are my experiences up to now. So far I’ve been enjoying myself. Mostly, it’s the “new shiny” feeling that every MMOG has, but also it’s because my most recent prior game was Shadowbane. Plus ca change, plus ca reste la meme chose!
So here is a recap of my escapades in the world of Aden, or at least a writeup about some aspects of the game itself.
So far, in over 3 months of gameplay (in beta + retail), I’ve managed to amass a level 9 Dark Elf fighter (my first character, put aside due to low HPs), a level 17 orc fighter (second character, put aside because my guild needs healers) and a level 25 human cleric (current character, going the healer route obviously). With my limited playtime, partly by my own choice, I’ve not gotten very far compared to the majority of players on Seighardt. There are players over level 60 already and even more that I know of that have secondary characters over level 30 without two-boxing it. I simply have more RL concerns to permit hardcore grinding in yet another MMOG, but even so, I’m finding my time enjoyably enough spent (as opposed to not gaming at all right now).
I : Login and Character Creation
When I first started taking notes for this writeup, it was still open beta and login issues where the biggest concern most players had. Simply trying to get into the game became a mini-game on its own, to the point where a guildmate of mine wrote a macro to login for you. It cut the average time to get in game from 45+ minutes to a barely tolerable 15-20 minutes.
Happily, it’s been like night and day since retail and those delays are almost entirely non-existent. Occasionally there will be a hang-up when going from screen to screen, but it’s mostly enter name, enter password, hit enter three times and you are at the character selection screen. After all the hassles of beta, it’s a relief that something so basic was such a non-factor for retail itself.
Character creation though, is something I’m personally disappointed with. After playing other games with many more avatar customization options (such as Asheron’s Call 1), L2 feels bland. DAoC and AC2 both had limited choices, but they still felt more fleshed out than what L2 offers, and I felt as if I had more control over how my avatar looked. Visually, this is probably the most beautiful of the games I’ve played so far (and I now have the machine to use those high graphic settings), but being so limited in one little area seems a distinct lack.
Unlike what I’ve heard about creating a character in City of Heroes, L2 doesn’t strain the player’s creativity. Each of the 5 races (human, elf, dark elf, orc and dwarf) is broken into 2 classes – fighter or mystic. You chose your gender (alien or terran, duh!), pick the class, and then “customize”. For all its age and infirmity in the MMOG genre, AC1 was and is far more
customizable than L2. Here, each character has a choice of 2 faces, maybe 5-6 hairstyles, only 2-3 hair colors. All beginning characters have a set of basic clothes that can’t be removed, and they all look the same. In fact, you can tell the approximate level of a character simply by what armor/clothing they are wearing; there is little variation or variety to be had.
The game’s anime influences are clearly seen in the clothing styles, especially for the females. Thigh high stockings and short skirts are the way to go according to L2, and the devs have even added the fine touch of panty shots with the right camera angle. Hell, for the female dark elf, no camera angles are needed, since they are dressed as S&M
Dominatrix with all the leather and straps a participant could desire. Add in gravity defying half tops and thongs with buckles and heels to complete the picture. In beta, the dark elven starter city looked like a porno convention with all the female DE avatars running around (the majority played by men of course).
In closed beta, I tried a female DE, because I don’t gender-bend. It’s something instilled in me from years of playing D&D, enforced by my GM and my own sense of self. I’ve just never been comfortable with the idea of playing a male character, even in SB with the supposedly genderless minotaurs and dwarves. I didn’t play either of those races because there isn’t a female equivalent. But here in L2, once open beta began with a character wipe, I broke my own rule and created a male avatar for my DE character. By comparison, the males (of all races except the orcs) are practically swathed in clothing.
In contrast, orcs of both genders are equally (un)clothed. I have no problems playing a female orc fighter, even though her starter outfit consists of a tiny skirt and a micro halter-top. The difference is that the male fighters wear a loincloth and a harness, and nothing more. I have no problems looking at my avatar wandering around mostly naked when both genders are involved, and for the orcs, it seems more appropriate that they wear minimal clothing. You can still get panty shots though.
II : Graphics and Music
Now that you’ve created a character and gotten in game, L2 provides a tutorial quest to get a new player familiar with the interface. The UI is very bare-bones compared to others I’ve seen and used, and as with character creation, the ability to customize it is very limited. In the lower-left corner there is a chat box with 4 tabs (all, trade, guild and party). You can make the window taller on the screen, but not wider. There’s no option to change the amount of window transparency, the font style or even have multiple chat windows open. You can select which forms of chat you want to see in the window, but that is all right now. Coming from SB with its amazing amount of customization available this is very limiting.
The character status bar is up in the upper left corner by default, but this can be moved to another location. The same with the quickbar (10 slots, 10 bars available to use, accessible using alt+(1, 2, 3, etc.) to change between them) and the selection box. However, there are 4 system buttons that are planted in the lower right corner of your screen, and these cannot be moved or removed at all. The radar may or may not be movable.
Since I’m admittedly lazy and boring with my screen layouts, I’ve placed my quickbar along the bottom edge of my screen, next to the chat box. On top of this, I have my status window and the selection window. I hate looking all over my screen to find my characters information, but this arrangement presented me with problems that didn’t seem to be curable by anything other than using the default screen layout. All “request” windows (for exchanges, grouping, friends lists, etc.) pop up on the bottom edge of the screen next to the chat box, and are covered in my layout. There’s no option to move the window elsewhere.
My “cure” for this problem was to up my screen resolution to 1180×1024. Now I have plenty of room, but I still see this as a flaw in the UI design. It’s ultimately a minor issue, but a stupid one that shouldn’t come up. What is the purpose of locking a window into a certain location? If the devs are going to do that, further limiting what little customization is possible, then why even allow any changing of the interface at all? As well, the chat window is locked into its partial transparent state with no options to change text, size or colors at all. This makes reading anything when the window is against a light colored background difficult.
Since I first began writing this article, the C1 patch has been implemented and with that, the ability to move windows. It’s still not very customizable (no resizing for example), but all windows now have a side bar that can be used to grab and move them on the screen. This new movable option for windows is very nice, since it automatically carries over for all characters logged in on that computer. For example, I used a friend’s higher level character for a guild event, and not only was all quickbar information already present (it’s stored server-side, yea!) but the windows were in the same locations that I used. That is such a simple little thing to have. I personally hated having to reconfigure my screen each time I changed character or resolution in Shadowbane, so when the game does it for me, it’s almost a lifesaver.
The graphics engine is based on the Unreal engine, which provides a beautiful game to look at. Character models (S&M and all) look much more smooth and natural and move far more fluidly than in any other game I’ve played. Movement can be controlled by left mouse click (click-to-move aka c2m) or using the more traditional WASD keys, but there is no key remapping allowed. The keyboard movement is mostly smooth, but it seems to get “disconnected” when opening a window with the mouse at the same time. You then have to use the mouse to “restart” the keyboard again.
This “disconnect” prevents using both methods together effectively. If I’m running using WASD, I cannot use the mouse to target anything, since the mouse is turned off while any keys are pressed. I need to let off the keys a second, target with the mouse, then resume using the movement keys. Once used to it, it can be done smoothly, but it’s a hitch in what should be simple movement / targeting. There are pre-made shortcuts buttons that can be dropped onto the quickbar, but the “next target” button has an extremely short range. There is also no easy way to target another person (outside of being in a group) using the keyboard or a chatline such as /ta . The game has slash commands, but in battle, having to type out /target Ryssa or /target SoulRider can mean the difference between targeting someone and missing a heal / attack.
With the advent of C1, something has been changed with WASD movement and not for the better. I have had many more problems with movement in general such as instances of getting stuck on object because of a delayed reaction to keypress. Or when turning, it’s as if my character was swinging at the end of a rope, which makes it look like I’m running sideways. Something is going wrong when using two keys at once (like the forward & left turn keys). Now I end up moving forward, stop, turn, stop, move forward again in order to go around the corner. I also have more occurrences when my character will either just stop moving forward or just suddenly head off in some random direction from where I was planning to go. Annoying does not even begin to describe dealing with this.
The music and ambient sounds in game are a mixed bag. Out in the wilds hunting monsters, I can hear birds calling, locusts chirring, footsteps, wind in the trees. In towns though, and on parts of the pathways, there plays an annoying (to me anyways) “heroic” music. The worst part is that it seems to have a fairly short loop, so that you get to listen to the same thing far too often. I don’t understand why going into town suddenly means that I hear music. The rest of the wilderness areas have appropriate ambient sounds, but not towns?
This isn’t unique to L2 by the way, most games seem to think that setting foot into a town means it’s music time. What about background noises appropriate to a medieval village? Voices in the background, wagon wheels, footsteps, etc. If there is a central fair area, then some music would be appropriate, but not all over. That’s one of the reasons why I generally turn off all music in game. Well, that and the fact that I use voice communications.
III : General Gameplay
This section can be subdivided into several smaller bites:
- A : Quests
- B : Hunting and leveling aka “The Treadmill”
- C : Training and Templates
- D : Weapons and Armor
IIIA : Quests
The starter quests are simple (and almost all quests are already very well documented on the various fan sites, with Warcry and L2 Orphus being the best ones) and easily followed. So far, none of the quests I’ve done are very hard, although I understand the higher level profession change quests can be rather complicated and involve plenty of running around from place to place. Lower level quests basically consist of the “go kill x number of mobs and return to me when you are done” school of questing. This form of quest isn’t very different than those provided by DAoC, so it’s not as if this is a new level of blandness. There are some quests that stack with others, and it’s possible to have several quests going at once. The quest window gives very clear descriptions of what needs to be done next if you have forgotten, which makes taking paper notes (something I did plenty of in previous games) a thing of the past.
These quests are boring as hell most the time, but if you can earn 5 adena (their version of gold) for collecting werewolf fangs for killing a mob you’ll be killing endlessly to level anyways, why not? At least you can make a bit of extra gold on top of the drops for killing the mob. Some quests, such as the one I just mentioned, are also flagged as repeatable, you can turn in the quest items (kept separately from other items, in a nice touch) at any time and select an option to either end the quest or continue. The only problem with this method of questing is that all you do is kill bigger mobs as you get higher in level, to turn in mob trophy A and receive Y amount of adena.
The quest reward system helps to point out another flaw in L2 – the scarcity of drops overall. For example, the Lineage 2 Vault site’s database of items includes a listing of the drop percentages (all based off the L2DP database). The chance of getting a needed item drop hovers around slim to nil usually, and you might be able to purchase the items with all the gold you earn killing mobs before you’d actually succeed in getting it to drop. The pricing of items at NPC vendors makes a player economy very viable, and pricing varies by the scarcity of the item in question. The more in demand something is, the closer to store price the sellers can get.
Still, drops of all sorts are hard to come by. Supposedly the drop rate was increased in C1, particularly for crafting materials, but the scarcity of these items still verges on ridiculous. I understand not wanting everyone and their mother to have a drop item, and enabling the player run economies to function, but when a weapon for a level 9 character has a drop rate of 0.002%… come on now. This is an item that sells from NPCs for 62K gold and from PC vendors for ~40K gold. All of this is based on the average gold drop to be ~40-70 gold each mob. And mobs don’t always drop gold or items either. You’ll always earn experience, but fighting an equal level monster (which can be a tough fight) and coming out of it with nothing but the experience is a letdown, for me at least.
As was proposed, drop rates did increase in C1 – slightly. It’s still possible (and for me – apparently very common) to have nothing at all drop, but components and crafting items now drop in multiples. This change has helped somewhat, and with gold drops being increased a bit as well, farming now goes from the “molasses in January” to “molasses in November” level of excruciating slowness.
IIIB : Hunting and leveling: aka “The Treadmill”
Hunting and leveling is a grinding treadmill of endless mobs to kill. There is no way around this, and especially coming from SB, this is tedium at its finest. While SB was almost ridiculous in the ease of leveling speed, L2 goes the other way and takes the long road to hell. I never played EQ, so I have no comparison to what a leveling treadmill is like, but I’ve heard this is comparable. DAoC was fairly quick until the highest levels, and AC2 was similar. For a game that is designed around castle sieges and GvG warfare, extending the time it takes to be viable is disappointing. Particularly when you consider how level dependent the game is for any character interactions.
The mobs that you kill in pursuit of your treadmilled goal are not highly varied. When I was a level 16 human mystic still on Talking Island (the human starting zone), I had my choice of killing orcs (ranging from dark blue through green con), werewolves (light blue through green), golems (green and white) and spiders (white). If I went into the island dungeon (which I didn’t, because of the Chinese adena bots infesting it), I had more orcs (still green), skeletons (green and white), golems again, werewolves (white this time) with a few new mobs (invisible scythe-handed ghosts and ratmen), but nothing groundbreaking. This trend continues out onto the mainland, with the same old retread of the same old mobs, just bigger with new names. There are a few new skins thrown in for a switch, but the addition of a cat-based mob isn’t all that different than one based on wolves or rats.
Lineage’s PvE is repetitive and boring to say the least. I hate PvE because it is such a timesink in the first place, and Lineage’s level grind is sickening. Two guildies of mine said they spent four hours hunting Sunday morning. One is level 29 and the other is 36. They got 1/3 and 1/4 of their levels respectively, hunting yellow and light red mobs (so one and two levels above them). Four hours of hunting at relatively low levels (level cap is 75 I think) and they didn’t even gain a level. This is a healer/tank combo to boot.
Soloing is almost required up to level 20, because otherwise the XP split slows things down, even with the quicker killing. Once you hit level 20 though, you can continue to solo for a while, but only if you kill green/light blue mobs (one to two levels below you). Equal level mobs (white con) start to get harder to kill alone, and take longer to recover from. Grouping becomes more important the higher level you get, to the point where soloing is almost impossible unless you are killing greens or light/dark blues. And even then those can be hard. Groups usually look for a big damage dealer (DD) and healers. Healers are in big demand in higher level groups, not just for the heals but for the buffs as well. You can function without healer/DD/tank in any group, just need to watch what you take on and be careful, but then downtime to heal/regen mana is the big tradeoff.
There is some achievement aspect that I enjoy as well, such as finally leveling to 26 this weekend. I had a lot of help from two guildies in particular – both tanks – who took me with them duoing. These were mobs they could solo, but with me to heal and buff them, they went through the mobs faster with a lot less downtime. One is 43 and the other is 49, so I didn’t impact their XP much, and I was getting good XP. In one of the locations, it wasn’t as good as I could have gotten solo, but it was faster in the long run. A lot of people don’t see things that way though, and are always going for the big XP/SP and not thinking of downtime. The other location was with the level 43 again, who was using his pet (takes XP from him, but doesn’t affect me at all) and with buffs, we were rocking along keeping on section of a hallway cleared by ourselves. That’s pretty damn good, considering that the other end of the hallway had a small group (~5 or so) holding it down. I was getting far more XP in the duo than I would have been solo, and these were mobs I couldn’t even hit. So that’s win-win for both of us.
I’ve mentioned what I call “Chinese adena farmers” and “farmers” already, so a brief explanation is in order. These are players for whom farming mobs for gold and/or items is a job, literally. They are frequently Chinese because they are not banned from the North American servers. It’s rather obvious that these aren’t “real” players, besides the lack of English spoken. It’s the numbered names – mzjy001 through mzjy011 were well known on Seighardt. It’s the actions – a level 20+ character, in the top grade gear, endlessly killing the same low level (read – levels 20-) mobs over and over again, day after day, telling players “PK go now” or “you go.” It’s having someone consistently kill steal your mobs by one hitting them. Those are the actions of farmer bots that aren’t there to enjoy the game, but are instead playing to accumulate gold and items to sell online.
IIIC : Training and Templates
Killing the endless series of mobs garners you skill points (SP) in addition to experience. The nice thing about these skill points is that you earn them no matter what, to a greater or lesser degree based on the mobs con level in relation to yours. But even killing dark blue mobs, you will earn XP and SP unless the mob is so tremendously below you (rather like a level 40 killing a level 1 rabbit), so the ability to train skills is only limited by the amount of skills available to train. At level 24, I had an excess of 21K SP waiting to be used, because I’d had all my available skills trained by then. Now I’m level 25 and still just accumulating SP to train more of the same sets of skills.
One thing I do not like about skills is the inability to use a lower power version of a skill. Once I train Wind Strike 6 (an offensive spell), then that is the only version of the spell that I have available to use. I can’t drop down and use Wind Strike 4 if I feel like it, or only need a bit of damage done. You are stuck always using the highest level of skill you have available. That is fine when talking about buffs, but sometimes, when mana conservation or amount of damage needed is a concern, you have no choice in the matter, the highest level spell is the only option.
The lack of skill paths to choose between also means that everyone turns out as a cookie cutter template in the long run. Eventually, every player will have trained all the available skills for their chosen path, and will probably even have extra SP left over in case new skills are ever added. The skill trees are very shallow and limited, meaning there is almost no diversity at any levels. For example, once I reached level 20 and made my profession change to cleric, I had enough SP to fully train the next 3 levels (7-9) of heals that became available to me, until my next skill point at level 25. You can tell someone’s level (within 5 levels) based on the spells they have, because the majority of spells only open up at a certain level. A cleric with might 2 but only shield 1 is over level 20 but under level 25. Same with the windwalk 1 (movement speed, and one that is so in demand) spell; windwalk 2 doesn’t become available until level 30.
There is no template planning to be done here, no min / maxing, no real character planning to be done at all. You chose the type of character you want to play, then you get a set list of skills that will be available to you, the same set that everyone else has available to them as well. That helps contribute to a certain sense of boringness to me. In AC1, all skills were open to anyone, and the uncertainty of not knowing exactly what skills your opponent had trained was part of the challenge. DAoC at least provided different spec-lines within a characters development. While it was possible to know what kind of character you were up against (druid, enchanter, skald, mercenary, etc.) knowing exactly what spec-lines they had was a bit more difficult.
IIID : Weapons and Armor
The sense of sameness continues visually with the armor and weapons. Reaching certain levels opens up the ability to wear and use different grades of armor and weapons. Getting to level 20 (and making your profession change) grants the ability to use D grade equipment. This is the level range of equipment that each player will be wearing from level 20 through level 40 until C grade expertise opens up. No matter the level though, if a human caster is running around wearing a bright yellow dress and leggings (males and females alike) then you know they have the highest level robe armor. Same for the light and heavy armors. Weapons can be a bit more tricky but even so the artwork is the same for similar items. For example, the Crucifix of Blessing spellbook that I’m using now looks exactly like the Demon Fangs spellbook which looks just like the Tears of Eva spellbook. Could we at least get a different color cover?
IV : PvP / GvG Combat and the Karma System
The first thing to mention here is how level and item dependent L2 is. In a one-on-one combat situation the chances of being killed by anyone more than 5 levels lower than you are slim unless there is a drastic difference in equipment. In addition there is no “open” PvP environment available, the most obvious reason for which is the karma system. As it is currently implemented it promotes more of a griefer atmosphere than one of open combat.
Ignoring the special circumstances that happen during sieges and guild wars, everyone has three levels of karma “existence” to play under – white, purple, and red. White is the normal one for everyday playing where no karma is accumulated and everyone just goes about happy as clams. Purple is the in-between “fighting” state meaning that your character has attacked another one and is therefore open to attacks in return for a limited amount of time. When two purples fight the battle is considered “equal” with respect to earning karma (you don’t unless the purple fades away). “Going red” means that you’ve killed a white player, someone who did not fight back against your attack. When you turn red you gain karma that must be burned off by either dying (to mobs or other players) or killing mobs (an extremely slow process).
The problem with being red though is that you become fair game to anyone and everyone that chooses to kill you and the accompanying risk of item drop is extremely high. That wouldn’t be a problem except for the difficulty in gaining the items in the first place. And forget about defending yourself unless you want to be a griefer’s dream target. Killing anyone white or purple while red means that you earn more negative karma. And the mere sight of a red brings every little white running from miles around eager to take their shot. Add to this to the XP loss for dying and the greater chance of dropping items on death while red and this system doesn’t exactly encourage people to go red. Instead casual combat becomes a game of trying to make the other person go purple. If you can make someone respond to an attack then you can cleanly attack them without repercussion since two purples fighting is considered consensual combat.
The entire game seems to be PvE with some half-assed PvP thrown on top of it. There are dungeons but combat in there is limited to fighting Chinese adena farmers. Unless you are in a clan war with someone else there is no real open PvP at all. I played the “see if the other guy will go purple” game the other night with 3 guildies, trying to bait the farmers around one of the hunting zones. The bait went red once by accident (farmers purple dropped right as guildie killed him so he went red) we burned that then we managed to get 2 other farmers to go purple and the 3 higher levels killed him. It involved a lot of screwing around and listening to some Chinese guy and his crappy broken English trying to tell us off for what we were doing.
With C1 though sieges and guild wars have been added and those dynamics are different yet again. I had the chance to watch one of the recent sieges that took place on the Seighardt server and they seemed to be more of the same-old, same-old. An area around the castle being sieged becomes a war zone area but there are no lines of demarcation to show you where that zone begins/ends. It’s a matter of walking forward until you get the odd message of “clan has increased in level.” Then you become fair game and the normal rules of karma (white/purple/red) go away and everyone is fair game and remains white. Stepping outside the invisible boundary results in your character going purple and in the siege that I witnessed, this meant that combatants from inside the zone could kill purples outside it with no karma or consequences. However, this PvP arena zone (which also exists in one of the hunting zones during select times) is nice in that there is no karma penalty for killing someone and lessened chances of dropping items and losing XP upon death. It’s what the PvP system should be about.
As a whole the entire siege was a milling, chaotic mess of random guilds and people all standing and running around. Part of that was due to the guilds doing the sieging and part was because any organized attempts at defense were overrun by the allied guilds trying to take the castle. I had minimal lag despite the number of characters and objects on screen, which was a nice surprise compared to sieging in Shadowbane. Dying inside the siege combat zone meant that you could not be resurrected at all and either waited until the end of the siege or released to the nearest village (which in this case was a decent run) to run back. The town the castle belongs to is automatically closed for the duration of the siege so no one can respawn there.
I wasn’t overwhelmed with the whole process but neither was I overly disappointed either. I can’t fully judge the sieges because my guild isn’t rank 4 yet and is unable to take part. The castles become vulnerable to sieges on a regular basis from what I can gather though and while the initial takeover is against NPCs, others would be against whichever guild currently controlled the castle. I’ll try to supply further updates as I learn and participate more in this aspect of the game because it is something that I’m looking forward to taking part in.
V : Crafting
Crafting is the hardest part of the game for me to comment on because while I’m extremely social in game, I don’t have the patience to be a crafter. And looking at what’s involved to be a crafter in L2 I don’t think I’m missing anything. Crafters are extremely valuable and vital to players because there are some items and weapons that can only be acquired through crafting. Not everyone can be a crafter though; the profession is only open to the dwarven race and the two class paths that dwarves can take are both specialized towards crafting. What makes having a crafter so valuable to every guild though is one special class – the warsmith. These are the ones that create the highest grade weapons and armor and once they hit level 50 are allowed to summon a siege golem which can only be used for – you guessed it – sieges.
But even before that comes there is the sheer enormity of crafting an item in the first place. I did a short stint as a tailor in DAoC and that in and of itself was tedious. I can’t imagine trying to keep track of what components are all needed to create one item in L2. Here is the recipe for a level 1 item called a cedar staff. Now in addition to the recipe itself you need all those other items to craft the staff and this is for something that costs 62K in the stores and that you’d use at level 10ish. This is the recipe to craft one of the highest level D-grade (cedar staff is no grade aka newbie item) spellbooks for casters to use. Reading this you would need 110 braided hemp to use. If you don’t have braided hemp then you can craft them using 5 stems each for a total of 550 stems needed. Considering that stems usually drop from newbie or lowest level mobs you either farm them with an alt or buy them from other people’s farming alts. Or collect the braided hemp directly but with drop rates that can take a while if you decide to not buy from someone else. No wonder the buying and selling of craft items is such big business in game.
I’ve been lucky so far and recently used my gold to help out a higher level guildmate get his newest weapon so that he could give his old one to another guildmate and I could then get that second guildmate’s old weapon. That was the easiest way to accomplish an upgrade for myself because collecting drops or saving gold was going to mean a long time using a sub par weapon for my level. But this just helps bring home what I think is the problem with drops in general. I got a component for a B-grade weapon recently and in looking it up found out that it costs 8.6 million to purchase which isn’t possible (craftable only item). I was doing good to have 600K on me because I saved up components instead of selling them (for the guild crafters) and had decent low D-grade armor for my level. The prospect of saving that much gold to buy something is sickening. No wonder people end up buying gold off eBay from the Chinese adena farmers.
There is a lot that is “wrong” with L2 so far particularly the lack of open PvP warfare that I was hoping for but there is just enough right and that I enjoy that I’m still paying the monthly subscription. My guild has set up a guild war with another one that is to start over the weekend and once that is over I’ll write up a report on it. The rules during guild wars are supposed to be much more adjustable such as XP loss and drop percentages so this will be a good learning experience for both sides and will give me more insight into the future of the game.
Also I’ve been playing more regularly since I got guilded because otherwise in game it can be lonely. Without teamspeak I would have quit; in game chat can be that bad. But I don’t expect L2 to be a game that’s going to hold me for even a year not unless something radical is done with PvP and the PvE grind. For me it’s always about playing with friends and people I enjoy gaming with and that’s my guild. I played SB for almost a full year because of my guild and only quit when that aspect of the game had been lost.